Policies for Smart Policing amid Punjab’s Urban Transformation
Since the early 1990s, crime in urban Punjab has significantly outpaced crime in rural areas. During this period, crime in districts such as Faisalabad and Lahore has grown 3% and 4.5% faster than Punjab’s rural districts. What is driving this rural-urban divergence in crime? Drawing from police case registries and an original crime victimization survey, IDEAS found that increasing property crimes – theft, extortion, dacoity – are key. The study identifies factors exacerbating the problem: policing institutions that have not adapted to urbanization, the inability of cities to create youth unemployment, poor information on suspects due to anonymity in the city, and low citizen trust in the police among other factors. Based on this evidence, the study outlines priorities for strengthening policing institutions to improve public safety.